Why is Kim Kardashian popular

The Kardashians / Jenners in numbers: How Kris, Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie became the biggest influencers of the decade

The Kardashians: Keeping Up Since 2007

Many years ago, the Kardashian-Jenners were a wealthy family who lived in a gated community in Calabasas, California. That was before Kylie's photo of daughter Stormi blew up the internet (it has been liked 18.6 million times on Instagram to date), Kim launched her shapewear line Skims and sold out within minutes (reportedly the first drop alone brought her two million US dollars -Dollars, around 1.8 million euros, one) and long before Khloé brought her inclusive denim brand Good American onto the market (which had sales of one million US dollars, almost 900,000 euros, at the launch alone). The Kardashians were already known back then - but today they have become the most famous celebrity family in the world.

But back to 2007 when "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" ("KUWTK") first aired in the US. The pilot program started on American TV on October 14th, with a mere 898,000 viewers tuned in at the time. At this point, Kris was managing the career of her then-husband Bruce, an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon (Bruce has been known as Caitlyn Jenner since 2015 and works as a motivational speaker). In the 2.85 million dollar estate (approx. 2.56 million euros), which was also the location of the first seasons of "KUWTK", the two lived with their daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner (then 12 and 10 years old old) and Kris' adult children from her previous marriage to the late O. J. Simpson lawyer Robert Kardashian senior: Kourtney, 28, Kim, 27, Khloé (23) and Rob (20).

Bruce Jenner and Kim Kardashian filming their reality show in Los Angeles October 2014

© JB Lacroix

The premise of "KUWTK", broadcast on the American channel E !, was simple: the unveiling reality TV show - similar to "The Osbournes" on MTV in 2002 - should give the audience a glimpse into the unfiltered Kardashian "Kraziness" . Kim, Paris Hilton's best friend at the time, from whom an infamous sex tape had just come to light, was deliberately the focus of the show. Today, 12 years, 17 seasons, 10 births, 9 spin-offs (including "Life of Kylie" and the series flop "Kris" from 2013), 3 on-screen weddings, countless VOGUE covers, a lot of criticism and one combined Instagram reach of 611.2 million followers later shows that the concept of the family has worked. In the 2000s, the motto of the six women still on the show (Kris, Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie) was "be famous for being famous". Then, in the 2010s, the family became a cultural force to be reckoned with.

Reality TV and Instagram: The Dawn of the Digital Age

Over the decade, the "KUWTK" format has inspired countless similar reality TV shows such as "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and "Love & Hip Hop" on VH1. However, none of these shows came close to the success of "KUWTK". According to "Variety", the family has allegedly asked for up to 100 million US dollars (around 89.7 million euros) for an extension of their series until 2020. And the number of viewers has remained satisfactory after all these years (a total of 2.4 million viewers followed the Khloé and Tristan Thompson fraud scandal in season 16).

In October 2010, Instagram popped up on the displays of many smartphone users, and a first generation of influencers began posting blurry photos of beaches and their breakfasts. In February 2012, Kim Kardashian also joined the platform and uploaded her first photo, an unbranded, unstyled snapshot in pajamas. By then, Kim had been sharing every little detail of her life with the world in "KUWTK" for five years. "I realized pretty quickly that I would use social media as [...] my free focus group," Kim told The Cut in November 2019. In the interview, the eldest of the Kardashian sisters reflected on how her personal brand has developed with the social media platform - from selfies to promoting sales of her own products to the platform and her sponsorships (allegedly Kim earned up to one Million US dollars per post).

Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian West at the 2018 Met Gala

© Taylor Jewell

Kim knew how to turn her title as "Queen of Instagram" into cash: She launched a number of paid, digital add-ons, such as her "Kimoji" emojis, which earned her one million US dollars per minute, or her video game " Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, "which generated $ 80 million in sales. Her sisters Kendall and Kylie, meanwhile, turned to a younger audience. 7 of the 20 most popular Instagram posts of all time are from Kylie, and her social media impact is even stronger than Kim's. Proof? When Kylie admitted using cosmetic fillers in May 2015 (after posting a series of pictures of her overly large lips), the demand for fillers rose 70 percent. And a February 2018 tweet in which Kylie wrote that she would no longer use Snapchat cost the platform $ 1.3 billion of its market value.

Some of the most viral Instagram posts of the decade include Kim's "Break the Internet" cover for the November 2014 issue of "Paper" magazine, Kendall's record post of her hair in May 2015 and Kylie's first photo of daughter Stormi, which is right for the became the most liked Instagram post of all time - until it was eventually topped by a simple picture of an egg.

Influence on fashion and beauty

Latex dresses, chunky sneakers, barely-there sandals, underwear as outerwear, flip-flops with heels, cycling shorts, bodysuits: the signature look of the Kardashian-Jenner clan has had an enormous impact on fashion. Whether they demonstrate their closeness to big houses like Balmain and Tom Ford or inspire fast fashion brands like PrettyLittleThing or Missguided with their aesthetics (in October 2017 Kourtney worked with PrettyLittleThing on a 40-piece capsule collection; in February 2019, however, Kim sued Missguided US $ 10 million on plagiarism allegations. Missguided eventually had to pay US $ 2.7 million in damages, US $ 59,600 legal fees and discontinue use of the Kim Kardashian trademark): During the 2010s, the Kardashian Jenners broke up established as an indispensable part of the fashion industry. However, there was one fashion phenomenon in particular that made it mainstream with the help of the family: athleisure.

Kylie Jenner in June 2018 in Los Angeles

© BG022 / Bauer-Griffin

In 2016 Forbes reported that "total apparel sales in 2015 were up 2 percent year over year, while activewear sales were up a whopping 16 percent." In 2015, Kylie received more than a billion likes on her Instagram account, on which she regularly posted selfies in sportswear - a marketing jackpot for any athleisure brand. It is no coincidence that the youngest of the family celebrated her big break with Kylie's lip kits that same year. Unlike Khroma, the Kardashians' earlier beauty line, which failed, however, Kylie's brand is a resounding success. With her brand, Kylie earned $ 360 million and the hotly contested title of youngest self-made billionaire before she sold a stake in Kylie Cosmetics to the beauty empire Coty in November 2019.

For Kim, too, the past decade was something like one long fashion and beauty moment. In an interview with "The Business of Fashion" in June 2018, she said that husband Kanye West was responsible for the complete overhaul of her wardrobe: "I always thought I had a really good style until I met my husband and he told me that I just had the worst style, "she said. Kanye introduced Kim to designers like Olivier Rousteing and introduced her to his own athleisure brand, Yeezy (he ended up using Kim, dressed from head to toe in Yeezy, for his "social media first" marketing campaigns). The Kardashian effect struck again: by the end of 2019, Yeezy should have brought in sales of 1.5 billion US dollars.

Kim Kardashian West at the 2019 Met Gala

© Neilson Barnard

From her first Met Gala visit in 2013 (pregnant and in an often parodied floral dress by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy) to her skin-tight corset dress by Thierry Mugler at the Met Gala 2019: Kim has gradually gained credibility and herself finally profiled as the most important fashion influencer of the decade. Kim's shapewear line Skims is also responsible for the 45 percent increase in Google searches for compression clothing in September 2019, according to Lyst. And the launch of her lines KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance brought in a total of 72 million US dollars for Kim in the first six months of last year alone.

In addition to Kylie and Kim, the rest of the family - albeit to varying degrees - have had a lasting influence on the fashion and beauty industry: for example with Khloé's jeans label Good American, Kourtney's healthy lifestyle website Poosh and Kendalls Modeling career (Forbes named her Highest Paid Model of 2018, with an estimated income of $ 22.5 million). And even Rob, who has rarely been seen on "KUWTK" since 2012, owns a sock line with Kris called Arthur George. One thing cannot be denied: the Kardashian-Jenners are incredibly accomplished entrepreneurs.

Kris Jenner, Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian West, North West, Caitlyn Jenner and Kylie Jenner at the launch of Kanye West's "Yeezy Season 3" at Madison Square Garden, February 2016

© Kevin Mazur

Fame and influence - but also controversy

Despite, or perhaps because of, their record-breaking success, the controversies about the Kardashian-Jenners were inevitable. The family has made a number of wrong decisions over the past decade, especially against the backdrop of a highly political decade and movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo. We remember, among other things, the appetite suppressants that were advertised on their social media platforms, Kendall's less sensitive Pepsi advertisement from 2017, the cultural appropriation scandal, triggered by Kim's brand Skims, which she originally wanted to call Kimono , and the sometimes ignorant, thoughtless marketing campaigns.

The Kardashian-Jenners of today are different from those of 2010, however. Regardless of whether you find them authentic or not - today the family, which was once all about money and fame, also uses its influence to socialize and address political issues. (Some see the traumatizing armed robbery of Kim Kardashian West in Paris as a reason to rethink the display of their wealth.)
In season 16 of "KUWTK" the sisters visited Planned Parenthood clinics. Kim is studying to become a criminal defense attorney (her meeting with Donald Trump in the White House helped secure a reduction in prison term for Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman sentenced to life imprisonment for a non-violent drug offense). The family has also campaigned for the Armenian genocide to be recognized, including with their repeated trips to the homeland of their ancestors. And in season 17, Kourteney and Kim attended the 60th anniversary of the nuclear accident at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory to raise awareness of the need for a clean-up on site.